Cover image for The films of Peter Weir
The films of Peter Weir
Rayner, Jonathan (Jonathan R.)
Second edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Continuum, [2003]

Physical Description:
xi, 287 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Michael (1971), Homesdale (1971) and The cars that ate Paris (1974) -- Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975/1998) -- The last wave and The plumber (1979) -- Gallipoli (1981) and The year of living dangerously (1982) -- Witness (1985) and The Mosquito Coast (1986) -- Dead Poets Society (1989) and Greencard (1990) -- Fearless (1993) and The Truman show (1998) -- Conclusion : the far side of the world.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1998.3.W44 R39 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Peter Weir is, without doubt, one of the most important Australian film directors of all time. His films have had a major impact, both in terms of the Australian film industry (Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Cars That Ate Paris, and Gallipoli) and as the work of an innovative auteur working within the confines of the Hollywood system (Witness, Dead Poets Society, Fearless, and The Truman Show).

This fully revised and updated edition of Jonathan Rayner's acclaimed study takes an in-depth look at the career of a filmmaker who has, over the course of 30 years, put together a substantial and much-loved body of work. Rayner illustrates how Peter Weir brings a consistent vision to his films, no matter how disparate their subject matter - and how he uses his 'outsider' status in the American film industry to his advantage.

Author Notes

Jonathan Rayner teaches in the Department of English Literature at the University of Sheffield

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

In his academic analysis of Peter Weir's work, including Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), Gallipoli (1981), Witness (1985), and Dead Poets Society (1989), Rayner (English/media studies, Univ. of Wales) explains how the Australian director has forged a distinctive voice by merging European art film style with Hollywood genre conventions. Rayner's examination of Weir's short films and 13 features (The Truman Show, the 14th, is referenced but was apparently released after the book was completed) leads him to conclude that Weir's work illustrates "a consistent range of themes: liberty and repression, youth and innocence against age and disillusioned knowledge, clashes of culture and the celebration of unique but unpredictable and inexpressible personal experience." Rayner also explores the rebirth of Australian film, which like many other national cinemas was overwhelmed by Hollywood after World War I. His fluency in film history makes this particularly suitable for informed readers.‘Kim R. Holston, American Inst. for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, Malvern, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The second edition of Rayner's book differs from the first (CH, Jun'99) in several ways. The author has added eight stills from Weir's films, a discussion of The Truman Show, a more extensive bibliography, Internet resources, and a concluding chapter. Also included is a very brief discussion of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which was in postproduction when this edition went to press. Apart from these updates, the book does not include a lot of new material. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Libraries that either do not have the first edition or that strive to be comprehensive; all levels. W. K. Huck emeritus, Idaho State University

Table of Contents

Peter Weir
Prefacep. 1
Introductionp. 3
1. Michael (1971), Homesdale (1971), and The Cars That Ate Paris (1974)p. 25
2. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975/1998)p. 59
3. The Last Wave (1977) and The Plumber (1979)p. 89
4. Gallipoli (1981) and The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)p. 119
5. Witness (1985) and The Mosquito Coast (1986)p. 153
6. Dead Poets Society (1989) and Green Card (1990)p. 191
7. Fearless (1993) and The Truman Show (1998)p. 227
Conclusion: The Far Side of the Worldp. 259
Filmographyp. 269
Bibliography: Booksp. 273
Bibliography: Articlesp. 278
Indexp. 281